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This business offers residential/commercial heating fuel and propane.
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A BBB Accredited Business since
BBB has determined that First Fuel & Heating Inc. meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.
Reason for Rating
BBB rating is based on 13 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.
Factors that raised the rating for First Fuel & Heating Inc. include:
- Length of time business has been operating
- Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size
- Response to 7 complaint(s) filed against business
- Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business
Customer Complaints Summary Read complaint details
|Complaint Type||Total Closed Complaints|
|Problems with Product/Service||4|
|Total Closed Complaints||7|
Customer Reviews Summary Read customer reviews
|Customer Experience||Total Customer Reviews|
|Total Customer Reviews||0|
Type of Entity
Business ManagementMs. Erica McCagg, Bookkeeper
OILS - FUEL GAS - PROPANE
Alternate Business NamesFirst Fuel & Propane First Fuel and Heating First Fuel and Propane
1840 Rt 9H
Hudson, NY 12534 Directions
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Complaint Trends - Last 3 Years
Customer Review Trends
BBB Customer Review Rating plus BBB Rating Overview
BBB Customer Reviews Rating represents the customers opinions of the business. The Customer Review Rating is based on the number of positive, neutral and negative customer reviews posted that are calculated to produce a score.
|Customer Review Experience||Value|
|Positive Review||5 points per review|
|Neutral Review||3 points per review|
|Negative Review||1 point per review|
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Read Complaint Details
Complaint: On may 14, 2015 I purchased 500 gallons of propane from the company, First Fuel and Propane. that was to be used before 4/30/16. I paid a total of $900. for the product which is indicated as a locked in price of $1.799 per gallon. On January 29, 2016 I received a delivery of 346.4 Gallons. At the time of delivery I told the driver to deliver just 250 gallons so that I could receive another 250 Gallons later on in the season. There was a statement in the contract that a delivery request of less than 250 gallons would implement a delivery charge. The he driver refused to deliver that amount and stated he was required to fill the tank. I indicated I wanted just the 250 gallons to avoid a delivery charge for the next delivery of less than the required amount. On April 25, 2016 I contacted First Fuel and requested a delivery of the remaining amount of fuel which was 153.6 gallons. I was told that It would incur a charge of $50 because I was not receiving 250 gallons. I told her that I requested 250 gallons in January and the driver said he had to fill the tank. She indicated I would be charged the penalty and she requested a charge card to be used for the penalty. I did provide that card. I called the next day, and requested to speak with a manager. I was transferred to Ryan L. He indicated they would not send the truck out for such a small amount as the tank gauge indicated 60% remaining even if I paid the Penalty. Under no circumstances would he send the truck out for that amount of fuel. It had to be 250 gallons. The contract expires on April 30, 2016 and I can no longer avail myself of the contract price. I request the BBB to act in my behalf and either have them send the truck out to deliver the remaining amount of fuel which is 153.6 gallons or refund me the amount of money for the unused fuel of $276.33. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Business Response: We have been in contact with the customer regarding this issue and everything has been resolved. We were unable to deliver the 153.6 gallons of propane to Mr. ****** 's tank because it was too full to take this much propane. A refund check has already been sent for the unused propane. We would also like to note the price of propane has gone down, therefore, his next delivery would be cheaper by waiting to take a full delivery. As always, we appreciate the business, and we thank you for the opportunity to explain this misunderstanding. Sincerely, Richard C.
Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and find that this resolution is satisfactory to me. Regards, *** ******
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: approx a month ago we changed oil companies because of the cost of propane was lower. First Fuel was not willing to refund the propane. There is no refund involved if they took their FULL propane tanks back. they claim that we never told them that we were changing companies and now they are charging us the full amount of propane that is in the tanks and $178.28 for the return of their tanks. we told them that we would use the fuel first before they took the tanks but they claim that it is a health hazard to leave these tanks on our property and that they were not willing to let us use the fuel in the tanks because we hadn't paid for the fuel yet. No refund involved the way I looked at it since the fuel was still in the tanks. I feel that they have mistreated us. Their operations manager, Ryan L. was rude to me on the phone and had his man here to take the tanks unknown to us at the time. He even went on to say..like a child.. that we didn't even tell them we were changing companies. very poor customer service
Desired Settlement: at this time I want a billing adjustment. the tanks were full plus the cost of 178.28 for them to come to my home unannounced and take the tanks. I feel that these full tanks will be use on someones home and double billing will occur because of First Fuel and Propane's practices
Business Response: Mr. ********* called 2/24/16 and told us that our tanks were disconnected and to pick them up. We had a conversation about the Propane Equipment Lease & Supply Agreement indicating there is no refund on propane left in the tanks and offered to hook them back up for him. The offer was denied. We can legally only bring the propane tanks back to our facility with propane in them. When they are set at another location, we cannot travel with any more than 5% in the tanks as per D.O.T regulations. Therefore, we have to invert and evacuate the tanks before they can be reset. The cost of this procedure is more than the value of the propane in the tanks. This is the reason there is no refund, and why we try to coordinate getting the tanks back empty. The ********** were given time to decide if they wanted us to hook the tanks back up until they were empty. On 3/23/16 we received a call from their neighbor. The tanks were disconnected and sitting on their property and they wanted them removed immediately. Our service technician went directly to the location at that time. Once again we offered to reconnect the tanks at no charge, while our service technician was there. Once again they refused. We had no choice but to remove the tanks. Sincerely, Ryan L. Operations Manager
Consumer Response: In response to this letter, this is a he said/ she said correspondence and does not touch on the issue at hand. 1. Let's take the word "refund".... Refund is the giving back of money that is owed....since I was told by this manager that since we hadn't paid on this propane he was taking the tanks full of propane back... In other words repossessing the tanks that were theirs but with our propane in them. 2. It is interesting to know that First Propane will take this propane and billed someone else for the propane that we are expected to pay. Double billing... 3. We were not informed that they were picking of these tanks that day ...being informed is the key word. And to let this manager know that they were on our lot but didn't care to find that out either. 4. This manager continues to change his mind on issues... Was told full tanks could not be taken back and yet in this letter to the BBB he states that they could. 5. Upon. Reading all complaints on the BBB site it’s interesting to read the statement that the owner of First Fuel stated that " the charge for tank removal was reversed on January 5, 2016 do to lack of new customer sign up". We were charged 178.28 for their tanks to be removed from our property. 6. Also, I might add that in the almost 6 years that we have done business with them we have always paid on time. As a matter of fact this company has $100.00 of credit on our account already! 7. So....the bottom line is my husband and I do not feel that we should pay for something that we never used which amounts to 400.00 And the removal of tanks ....we will pay 178.28 if that is what it takes to settle this. 8. I will end this bad experience with just saying that this manager writes a lot nicer than he talks to his customers. Sincerely **** and **** *********
Business Response: I am in receipt of the newest letter from the Better Business Bureau regarding ****** and **** *********. At this time, I do not have anything more to add to this situation that wasn't already covered in the first letter dated April 1, 2016. We sent the *********'s a letter explaining that there are no refunds for propane. In fact, the letter was sent certified mail to avoid any confusion on our procedures regarding no refund on propane. The *********s were given ample time to use the propane. In the Propane Equipment Lease & Gas Supply Agreement, that the *********s signed and agreed to on August 2, 2010, it states that there is "No refund for propane left in propane tanks." This agreement also states that the customer shall pay for the cost of removal of equipment, including transit and rigging to our plant at our current hourly rate regardless of the contract end date. I have attached a copy of the signed lease as well as the certified letter that was sent regarding cancelling the account and any unused propane. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me on my cell at ###-###-####. Sincerely, Richard C. President First Fuel and Propane
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: I have a received a ** gas fill up on 12/28/15 for my 60 gallon tank of 39 gallons. I have a 5 year contract that will expire 03/2016. At the time of the fill up the cost of propane in this region was 2.22 per gallon. I was billed a rate of 7.89 per gallon, this is above a 300 % increase. I have called other customers and fuel delivery services and this is a unheard of increase. Some customers are paying 1.95 for the same propane and others up to 4.50. When I called to question the increase in cost I was told they no longer delivery for cooking fuel only, but being I have a open account and delivery is only once a year they need to make up cost on my account some how. I can not return the tank as they also have a policy of " no fuel refund on a tank of fuel". I understand costs of insurance on their tanks , but all customers also have this, and such an increase in cost is "price gouging". My bill from last year was 143.00 less and at that time fuel costs were higher.
Desired Settlement: a reasonable cost for propane.
Business Response: We have been in contact with the customer regarding this issue and everything has been resolved. The price she was charged was in error. We have lowered the price per gallon to the correct amount. As always, we appreciate the business, and we thank you for the opportunity to explain this misunderstanding. Sincerely, Richard C.
Read Complaint Details
Complaint: I recently sold my house at *** ***** route ** ********* Ny. First Propane took a reading to estimate the amount of propane left in the tanks, at the point the new owners took possession. Both were half full. However they refused to allow the refund to be collected at the closing of the house. (The oil company allowed this). And now the gas has been used by the new owners or repossessed by First fuel. Now they want to bill 70 me for the tank removal.
Desired Settlement: I want the value of the propane reimbursed to me that they wouldn't allow at the closing.
The propane tanks located at *** ***** Route **, *********, NY belong to First Fuel and Propane. When a home is sold, the homeowner cannot sell propane out of our tanks. For liability purposes, we must have the new homeowners agree to our terms and conditions, the system must be leak checked, and safety procedures must be reviewed. If the new homeowner chooses to continue service with us, we charge them for the propane left in the tanks and then reimburse the old homeowner. However, the new homeowner at *** ***** Route **, *********, NY chose not to continue service with us. Therefore, we picked up the tanks. In the lease agreement that the customer signed and agreed to, it states that we do not refund for propane left in tanks as we prefer that propane is used before removal. We have this policy because when tanks are not empty, we need to send two people to remove them. We then need to invert and evacuate the tanks because DOT laws state that we cannot leave our tank yard with full **** propane tanks; we may only return them. This time-consuming task negates any value to the propane retained. Many other companies charge a removal and re-stocking fee which is as expensive as not refunding for propane left in tanks. The oil company allowed the fuel oil to be paid for at the closing because the tank is owned by the homeowner and not the fuel company. We too have this policy for our oil customers. Regarding the $70 removal fee, this was the quarterly fee for a third tank used for cooking. This charge was reversed on January 5, 2016, due to the lack of new customer sign up. There was never a tank removal fee. As always, we appreciate the business, and we thank you for the opportunity to explain this misunderstanding. Sincerely, Richard C.
Consumer Response: I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID ********, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint. For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below. Regards, **** *********
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: First Fuel in the contract states they will not refund customers for unused fuel when disconnecting a tank. In my case there is $200+ unused fuel in my tank.
Desired Settlement: Refund the fuel costs.
Business Response: We received your letter in regards to the above complaint today. The customer has been called and the situation has been rectified. Mr. ********* is going to have the tank hooked back up and use up the remaining propane left in the tank. He did sign a contract with us on 4/6/15 and it is stated in said contract that our policy is to pick up our tanks empty, as we do not refund for unused propane. A copy of the signed agreement is enclosed. This should satisfy and close out this complaint. Very truly yours, Richard C. President
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Complaint: First of all, I would like to say that I am not a customer of First Fuel and propane. I have not ever had a contract with Mr. **** and after this incident, never will. The previous owner of my home (that I purchased in June of 2013) used First Fuel as his oil provider, or so I assume by the attitude and poor excuse given by the "President" and his associates. The company's computer system supposedly made a mistake and delivered fuel to my home in January of this year. My husband and I had no idea, nor would we have reason to because we do our business elsewhere and are quite happy with the service provided. At the point when the collection process began, the company did not know us by name, they were simply looking for the occupant of my address. I was told that I had to pay for 103 gallons of fuel that was delivered to my address. My husband also received a phone call on his cell phone and he was told that he needed to discuss a "billing matter". We were still unclear of the incident. We requested a phone call from the owner of the company. When we did receive a phone call, the conversation was that of a very accusatory tone and it ended up being a screaming match and a threat to be taken to court to pay for property that did not belong to us. We were threatened and given reference to a law that he recited and claimed to know his rights. I explained that I did nothing wrong and do not feel that the situation was being handled professionally. I am a business professional and have been for nearly 20 years and have never been disrespected and spoken to in such a derogatory tone. About two weeks passed before we heard from Mr. ****, he called screaming at my husband and told him he demanded a check in his office by the end of the week or he was taking us to court. I could hear him yelling on the other end of the phone from across the room. My husband dropped a check off at his office the next day reluctantly but willing to comply in order to avoid further harassment from this person who calls himself a business man. We received a discounted rate, and the amount we paid was less than that of what it would have been. However, I do not feel that it was our responsibility to comply upon his word to a mistake that his company made. I feel that the process was poorly handled and would never dream of treating any of my clients the way my husband I were treated. We did not avoid paying a bill, we had no bill. We were not trying to get something for nothing. This was a mistake that the business made, and he was going to take us to court. There is no logic behind this and I can't figure out why a business professional would mistreat a potential new customer poorly and why he would rather we speak ill of his company and its services rather than apologize for an inconvenience that he caused us. In the end, he told us that he was stressed out about the situation and wanted it resolved, the situation was in his hands all along and if it were handled differently, we would have compromised sooner. I will never recommend his service and not ever even consider switching to this company. There are very poor customer relations practiced in that firm, insulting a client's intelligence and offending people (especially ones who have done nothing wrong) is not the way to attract business.
Desired Settlement: I still do not believe that we are responsible for the debt forced on us. I feel that we were treated unfairly and unprofessionally. I would accept simply admitting that what was done is wrong.
Business Response: In regards to the above reference complaint, I would respectfully disagree with ******* *****'s experience. ******* and *********** ***** got a mistaken delivery at the ** ********* Drive address from us. I explained the delivery was made in error and apologized to her multiple times. My staff spoke with ******* and she express that this was not her fault and she felt like she should not have to pay for something that was delivered in error. Since this was our mistake my staff notified me, I called and spoke to ******* to handle, again apologizing to her multiple times thru out our phone conversation. I explained to her that I would have liked to recover the cost of the fuel at the time of the delivery, and it would be at a lower cost than her current fuel oil company. She insisted that this was my mistake and that she should not have to pay for anything. I explained again that this was our mistake and apologized to her again, but that I was not willing to give ******* and her husband *********** the fuel oil for free. At that time ******* wanted to discuss this with her husband and get back to me. After a month had passed I heard nothing, so I gave another call to *********** this time. I apologized again, and this time we came up with agreement for them to pay $ 300.00 for the fuel that was delivered to them. Analogy of the story that I tried to explain to *********** was that when a ***** delivery man drops off your new refrigerator in your next door neighbors driveway, your neighbor does not get to keep your refrigerator for free. I had simply offered to take the fuel back by pumping it out of the tank, or offering them a deep discount on the fuel oil that was delivered in error. The *****'s chose the discount and paid me the $ 300.00 and I wiped the rest of the balance on the account clean for them. Again I would like to take this time to apologize to both ******* and *********** ***** for the mistake that we made in error. Thank you, ******* **** 1st Fuel & Propane President
Problems with Product/Service
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Complaint: RECEIVED DELIVERY OF FUEL APPROX 3 WKS AGO. SHOPPED FOR BETTER PRICING. RECEIVED PRICE $1.55 LESS PER GALLON FOR PROPANE. CALLED OFFICE, SAID THEY WOULD GET BACK TO ME THAT DAY, THEY CALLED ME AT 4:55 THE NEXT DAY AND LEFT MESSAGE THAT I WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO CALL BACK BUT WOULD CONTACT ME NEXT DAY. APPROX 10 DAYS LATER I CONTACTED THEM AGAIN. THEY TOLD ME THEY WOULD NOT MATCH PRICE AND WOULD NOT GIVE ME ANY CREDIT FOR FUEL REMAINING IN TANKS APPROX $600 WORTH. I HAVE REREAD ORIGINAL CONTRACT AND I FIND NO STATEMENT IN CONTRACT OF NO CREDIT FOR FUEL RETURNED.
Desired Settlement: PICK UP FUEL TANKS AND CREDIT FUEL IN TANKS APPROX 160 GALLONS @ $3.749 PER GALLON. IF THEY CHOOSE TO CHARGE A 10% RESTOCK FEE I AM OK WITH THAT. THE TANKS ARE OVER 3/4 FULL- 2 - 120 GALLON TANKS & REGULATOR
On December 4, 2013 my company did in fact remove our tanks from Mr.
*******'s property. At that time our tanks were still connected. The tanks weren't
hooked back up as he stated he would do. It is a firm company policy that we do not
refund for propane left in the tank. However I also pride myself on our customer service
here at First Fuel and we strive to keep our customers happy at all times. With that
being said I credited Mr. ******* back the remaining propane in the tanks at the price
of $3.749 which was the amount he was charged the day of the delivery. I did charge a
modest restocking fee of $1.00 per gallon and refunded him the difference minus the
tank removal fee which he agreed to pay when he signed the Propane Equipment
Lease and Gas Supply Agreement. Now if Mr. ******* was being forthright about
getting prices at $2.20 per gallon then I feel that I have actually saved him 0.549/g
which equals $88.94.
If Mr. ******* would like I can set the tanks back at his property for him to use
the 162 gallons and he can return the refund check to me. He would then just need to
pay me for the propane at $3.749. Mathematically speaking it doesn't make sense to
me but if he doesn't see the savings then to keep him happy I would be glad to set the
tanks back for him. By doing what I've done it saves him money. It seems to me that
no matter what Mr. ******* isn't going to be happy. So at this point I am just not sure
how he would like me to proceed.
Thank you for your time in this matter.
I have reviewed the response made by the business in reference to complaint ID *******, and have determined that this does not resolve my complaint. For your reference, details of the offer I reviewed appear below.
To whom it may concern,
I am in receipt of your letter dated December 31, 2013. I am resubmitting a copy
of our Propane Equipment Lease and Gas Supply Agreement highlighting where it
states no refunds are given on unused propane. It is also printed on all propane
delivery receipts that "All Sales are Final". Even when presented with this information
Mr. ******* continues to lie about the facts. In the second response to Mr.*******'s
complaint I offered to have the tanks set back at his home if he so pleased. As a rule I
don't refund back for unused propane, but in Mr. *******'s case I made an exception.
I will not be refunding Mr.******* any more money.
Thank you for your time, with this letter I consider this matter to be closed. This
will be the last response I will be making to Mr. *******'s complaint.